by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau State Executive Council has approved reconstruction of the Jos Main Market, popularly known as “Terminus,” which was burnt down many years ago. An estimated total cost for construction of the three phases of the market is about N9.4 billion.
The decision was reached by the Council at its weekly meeting presided over virtually by Governor Simon Lalong, who is currently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, alongside other governors to participate in the 11th Annual Investment Summit.
The approval was sequel to a memo submitted by Commissioner for Urban Development, Hon. Idris Gambo, who is supervising Ministry of Commerce and Industry to the Council with the proposal for a Public Private Partnership Joint Venture to be funded by Jaiz Bank Nigeria Plc.
Findings reveal that, Jaiz Bank has similar PPP project in Kano, Kaduna and Niger States with some completed and others ongoing.
Briefing newsmen after the Council meeting, Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang, said the reconstruction of the Jos Main Market has been one of the priorities of the Lalong Rescue Administration, which despite several attempts delayed because of conditions given by various prospective investors.
Hon. Manjang explained that the determination and resilience of Governor Simon Lalong to fulfill his campaign promise to the people by ensuring that the market is reconstructed has finally paid off with the agreement by Jaiz Bank Plc to partner with the Plateau State Government in funding the project.
He said the project, expected to be completed within the lifetime of this administration, is one of the many legacies the governor wants to leave behind, for the economic prosperity of the State.
While giving details of the PPP Joint Venture, Supervising Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon. Idris Gambo, said the entire project will be funded by the bank with a total of 4,231 shops of different sizes expected to be constructed on 44 percent of the land, totaling 7.4 hectres. He said the rest of the land space will provide for parking, banks, fire station, police station, administrative blocks and other facilities.
The Commissioner disclosed that the market wholly belongs to Plateau State Government and will be managed by the Jos Main Market Authority while the Investor will recover part of their investment from proceeds of the sale of the shops.
Hon. Gambo also said the Exco resolved that those, who were displaced from the burnt market, will be given the first option of acquiring the new shops, which will be provided under a flexible payment plan, to ensure that genuine traders and people of Plateau State are not left out.
It was also agreed that work on the adjourning roads from the Gangare axis will be intensified with a possibility for dualization to ensure that traffic congestion does not prevail when business activities resume in the market.
Meanwhile, the Exco has also approved a proposed Bill for the establishment of the Plateau State Independent Peace and Security Trust Fund to be sent to the State House of Assembly.
Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Chrysanthus Ahmadu, explained that the proposed Bill seeks to generate funds from the private sector, government and other sources to support peace and security efforts in the State by training, equipping, motivating and insuring security personnel on security duties in the State, as well as supporting community policing structures and neighbourhood watch groups.
In another development, the State Executive Council has condemned the attacks in Jebbu Miango, which left three persons dead, and others injured. While consoling with those affected, it directed security agencies to redouble efforts in arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.